Sunday, July 20, 2014

Red Hatters Attend IMAX Theater and lunch at Carino's

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter members of the Red Hat Society gathered at the IMAX Theater in Alamogordo, New Mexico on Saturday, July 12, 2014 to view "Tornado Alley". It was indeed spectacular and made one feel as if they were in the middle of a tornado. We learned about storm chasers and all the safety creations they built to keep their people safe as they filmed and experienced these nature made phenomena. It was definitely a relief to experience this horrendous occurrence in a theater and not in real life.

Afterwards, we drove to Carino's Italian Restaurant in Alamogordo for a lovely lunch.

A Starcharger rocket parked near the IMAX Theater waiting to be installed on the grounds of the New Mexico Museum of Space History
Mike and Marian Ruth. Mike wanted to see the film and he fit right in with the group.
Alice, digging for her money to pay for her ticket
L to R: Margie, the ticket seller, and VQ Penny
So happy to see Lu felt well enough to meet us at the restaurant
L to R: Donna C., Margie, Alice and VQ Penny enjoy the bread and oil
Miriam and Mike
There were a couple of group photos which did not turn out because the setting was wrong on my camera so I was there, just not in a picture this time. It was an enjoyable outing and we determined that we will drive to Old Mesilla (near Las Cruces) on our next event to shop and dine. We also sang and kazoo'd VQ Penny celebrating her birthday.

This is all I have to say for now.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Alamogordo, NM 4th of July Parade

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stephanie DuBois, a resident of Tularosa, New Mexico, is running for Otero County Commissioner of District 2 and had a spot in the July 4th Parade in Alamagordo. I'm not in her district so I can't vote for her, but wanted to show my support by marching in the parade. Chris Jones, another loyal Democrat also joined us marching and handing out candy to the children.

Stephanie's father, 93 years young Stephen DuBois who is a Pearl Harbor Survivor, rode along in the decorated van with her.

I have no idea how many units were in the parade, but from my point of view, it looked fairly long and there were many families along the parade route waving small American flags and applauding. It was a great parade for a town the size of Alamogordo.

L to R: Carla Kerr, Stephanie DuBois and Chris Jones

Dungan Fire Department and they do love serenading everyone with their sirens and bells
Stephanie and Carla decorating the van
These must be the most patient horses in the world-look at all that paint!
Another shot of the horses-they were really quite beautiful
There was a huge contingent of bikers in patriotic decor
This is a particularly spectacular arrangement
A shot of our decorating skill
Adorable girl with her mother waiting for the parade to start
Stephanie just couldn't resist putting this sign on the back!
One of many old cars in the parade
I'm ready to roll with my bag of candy
The parade is moving out
We have limited photos this year because my darling Doug was not feeling well and I am just thankful he came long enough to take these shots.

Later in the evening, we sat on our front sidewalk and watched the official fireworks display at the New Mexico Museum of Space History which is about two miles from us and our house is at about the same elevation so this is a perfect spot to view the display. The fireworks were beautiful.

This is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Red Hatters View "Dragonfly"

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter of the Red Hat Society enjoyed viewing "Dragonfly" the movie and a potluck luncheon in the lovely home of member Lu Mattson who is, among other things, quite an accomplished artist.

"Dragonfly" was released February 22, 2002 starring Kevin Kostner as Dr. Darrow, Kathy Bates as his neighbor/attorney Mirian Belmont and Linda Hunt as Sister Madeline, a nun who investigates near-death experiences. The movie was panned by the critics and flopped at the box office.  I guess one could call it a chick flick because we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Joe and Emily Darrow are doctors in a Chicago hospital. Seven months pregnant, Emily travels to Venezuela to help natives in the Amazon Basin area. She dies when a bus is hit by a landslide and plunges into the river below. Her body is not found by local authorities.

One night Joe is awakened by his wife's dragonfly paper weight falling and rolling across the room. Emily always had a passion for dragonflies and had a birthmark resembling one on her shoulder. Joe starts visiting Emily's patients at pediatric oncology in the hospital. A child is brought into the hospital unconscious. Joe hears this child calling his name and follows staff trying to revive him without success - the child's heart flat lines.  As Joe approaches the child, his heart begins beating again.

The following afternoon Joe returns to the child who asks him if he is "Emily's Joe" and tells him she sent him back to tell Joe something. All over the room are drawings of a curvy cross, but the boy doesn't know what this curvy symbol means. Telling about his near death experience, the boy says he saw a light, and a woman showing him an image of Joe, and that the cross symbol was what he saw at the end of the rainbow. Later, Joe, passing by another boy's room, sees the same drawing. This boy immediately knows who Joe is and tells him he must "go to the rainbow."

On arriving home, Joe's parrot mysteriously goes into a rage breaking a flower pot making the same wavy cross symbol drawn in the spilled soil on the floor.  Joe spots a dragonfly outside the window and briefly sees Emily reaching for him. Joe's neighbor, Miriam Belmont, tries to talk him back into reality. Instead, he goes to Sister Madeline, a controversial nun. She advises Joe that Emily is trying to contact him.

The breaking point occurs at the hospital when Joe is alone with a clinically dead patient and hears Emily speaking through the patient calling his name, but no one believes him. He decides to sell his home and go on vacation. While packing away Emily's belongings, a light bulb in the room burns out. When he returns with a new bulb, he finds everything placed back in their original places. He then enters the kitchen where a map has blow open on the table showing the curvy cross symbol at several places. A friend tells him the wiggly cross is a map symbol for a waterfall. Joe remembers and finds a photo of Emily posing in front of a waterfall with a rainbow behind her.

He takes a trip to South America to the area where Emily died. His pilot takes him to a tribal village where the victims' graves are located. Joe shows the natives Emily's photo asking them where she is buried. The natives get in a argument. Joe runs off towards the village with the natives in hot pursuit. He comes to a cliff and jumps off into the river near where the bus is situated. He enters the semi-submerged bus causing it to shift and he is trapped inside. But, he calms down when a bright glow fills the bus and Emily appears before him, reaching for his hand. Her final hours flash before him, showing she survived the initial accident and was pulled to safety by Yanomami villagers. He is suddenly pulled out of the bus by his pilot.

Joe runs into the village where he is surrounded by angry native men holding weapons. When he holds up the photo of Emily, a native woman tells him they couldn't save her body but they saved her soul. Perplexed, he follows the woman into a hut where he finds a female infant in a basket. The woman shows him a birthmark on the child's ankle in the shape of a dragonfly.

The show ends with Joe playing with his daughter, now a toddler, having the same wavy blonde hair and who is the very image of Emily. (Credit to Wikipedia for help in writing this synopsis)

We then dined on macaroni and cheese, jambalaya, pink stuff, caramelized sweet potatoes, ham slices, freshly baked bread, pickled peppers, miniature chocolate muffins and macaroons. Potlucks are always a fun surprise.

We added a new member, Dorothy Edwards, from Tularosa, New Mexico, also an accomplished artist, and we are so happy to have her join us in having fun.

Queen Ladybird (Carla) sporting her "Mr. Lee" hat
L to R: Dorothy Smith, Jean Courtier and VQ Penny Pirrung
Margie Purcella
Hostess Lu Mattson and new member Dorothy Edwards
Margie and VQ Penny enjoying great food
The group got quiet for a while
L to R: VQ Penny, Dorothy E., Jean and Lu
The group had a great time visiting and making plans for upcoming events. Red Hatters are terrific at visiting, eating and having just plain good fun.

Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr for taking my picture (forgot to have someone do it at the event).

This is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Juneteenth Celebration in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Juneteenth Celebration in Alamogordo, NM was sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Friends of the Library (FOL).

Juneteenth is a celebration that occurs every year on June 19. It commemorates the day that 2,000 Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with General George Granger.  He announced that the Civil War had ended and read a general order which freed 250,000 slaves living in the state of Texas. Although President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect two years prior, in January of 1863, many were still enslaved until June 19, 1865, with the arrival of General Granger and his troops. This pronouncement was not magical in that compliance did not come easily and many slaves were killed and mistreated for some time afterwards.

This event is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance by all but seven states (Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah).

The meeting was opened with a prayer by Pastor Warren Robinson who also happens to be president of the Otero County NAACP.  Warren introduced Nadia Sikes, president of FOL, who then read a proclamation issued by Mayor Susie Galea about the Juneteenth holiday.

Carolyn Peeler, vice president of the NAACP, introduced her husband, Ron Peeler who then read the Preamble to of the Declaration of Independence.  Carolyn and Ron narrated slides of former slaves celebrating Juneteenth.

Storyteller Sarah "Juba" Addison, on the Board of Storytellers of New Mexico, proceeded to relate three excellent stories, one of which was "The Masada in America Ebony Sea" based on historical events that occurred  in 1803 when the sea turned to ebony. This is an incident when the Africans on a slave ship walk into the ocean, still wearing their chains, and drown, rather than to become slaves. Juba, as she prefers to be called, learned storytelling from her grandmother, Sarah Jane, a descendant of West African Griots. She is an exciting storyteller and quite expressive.

Keith Gerber, author of  "The Christian Chronicles", read a poem he wrote for this Juneteenth Celebration. He noted that Juneteenth Independence Day was not only important to people of color, but to everyone because all people should be free and treated equally.

Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication with the New Mexico Arts Council and Camilla Dodson did not arrive until the event had officially adjourned. There were still 15 or so of us visiting and she came in with her driver, Nicole. We arranged chairs in a large circle while Nicole and several of the men brought in many drums so that each person had one in front of their chair. There were djembes, congas, bongos, etc. Camilla began to teach us African songs and how to play the drums.

We had a great time--it was almost like being back in kindergarten--and with her story telling, an hour and a half went by rapidly. Camilla Dodson is from Africa and she specializes in dance, drumming, song and storytelling.

Many thanks to Warren Robinson, Ron and Carolyn Peeler, and Nadia Sikes for all your work in putting this Juneteenth Celebration together.

Ron Peeler talking to the crowd

Juba Addison, a talented storyteller
Sharon Jenkins, NMSC-A librarian talking with Steve Haydu, Holloman AFB librarian. Joel Hamilton and Nadia Sikes in background
Juba Addison being interviewed by Jessica Palmer of the Alamogordo Dailey News
Bob Flotte of radio station KHII interviewing Nadia Sikes, FOL president
Ron Peeler talking with Joel Hamilton
Otero County NAACP President Warren Robinson with Juba Addison, noted storyteller
Attendee Carla Kerr with Juba Addison (Photo Credit: Warren Robinson)
Linda M. Barker enjoying the refreshments
L to R: VP Carolyn Peeler of the NAACP, Diane and Joel Hamilton visiting over refreshments
Keith Gerber, author of "The Christian Chronicles" reading his poem
Camilla Dodson, an authentic African entertainer including dance, drumming, song and storytelling
L to R: Steve Haydu, Karen Hutchison and Denise ready for their drum lesson
Nadia Sikes and Paul Logner
Carla getting down with her bad self! (Photo by Paul Logner)
Jessie on the left really is a drummer and Camilla directing us
Steve, Karen and Denise "got the beat goin' on"
This was my first Juneteenth Celebration and I will be ready for next year. It was just so enlightening and so much fun too.

This is all I have to say for now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Flag Day Celebrated by New Mexico Democrats

Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 6:00 p.m.

A fun and creative Flag Day fundraiser dinner was enjoyed by a large number of Democrats from all over the State of New Mexico hosted by the Democratic Party of Otero County (DPOC). The venue was the Tulie Cafe in Tularosa situated in a lovely adobe building.

The event led off with all standing and singing a spirited rendition of The Star Spangled Banner and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the New Mexico State Pledge. DPOC Chair Nadia Sikes led the meeting with able help from her team, Liz Watson, Karen Hutchison and former Mayor Steve Brockett.

We dined on steak or green chili chicken and both were delicious and well prepared. These were accompanied by salad and mashed potatoes. Dessert was cherry cheesecake and the waiters kept our ice tea glasses  and coffee cups filled. Excellent service was had from the wait staff. We will be going to the Tulie Cafe again in the future.

Liz Watson and Nadia Sikes had an "Arts and Crafts" day and created a star banner for DPOC. Three outstanding Democrats were each recognized with a star on the banner and presented with a certificate. (See photos below)

Several speakers gave us their thoughts on the state of affairs here in New Mexico including State Senator Linda Lopez of NM District 11, Mariaelena Johnson running for NM House District 53, Rod Saint running for Otero County Sheriff, Rocky Lara running for U.S. House of Representatives District 2, Mary Lee Soules, former candidate for PRC and Stephanie DuBois running for Otero County Commissioner District 2.

DPOC Chair Nadia Sikes looking very patriotic
Mary Lee Soules and her "Cabana Boy"
Carla Kerr, a proud Democrat
Senator Lopez greeting Rob Saint, candidate for Otero County Sheriff
L to R: Mariaelena Johnson, Senator Lopez and Rocky Lara. There is so much estrogen in this photo it's a wonder it doesn't just jump off the page at you. Nothing like female power!
A random shot of the group at one end of the room
Joel and Diana Hamilton in deep discussion with their table mates
L to R: Vice President and President of LULAC at NMSC-A
A random shot of the crowd at the other end of the room
DPOC Chair Nadia Sikes at the podium
Rod Saint, candidate for Otero County Sheriff
Eric Spitty representing the Mescalaro Apache area and his friend
Another random shot of the attendees
Rocky Lara running for Congress from District 2
Our lovely Liz is moving away to Wright-Patterson AFB. She will be missed!
DPOC Secretary Karen Hutchison
Attendees giving a rousing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner
DPOC Star Banner created by Liz Watson and Nadia Sikes
L to R: David Townsend, Nadia Sikes and Karen Hutchison. A certificate was awarded to Dave and posthumously to his wife, Linnie Townsend, along with a star on the newly created DPOC Star Banner
L to R: Nadia presenting certificate representing a star on the banner to Paul Duran with Liz looking on
Liz presenting certificate to Stephen DuBois representing his star on the new banner
Speaker Senator Linda Lopez of NM District 11
Speaker Mariaelena Johnson, Candidate for NM House District 2
Speaker Rod Saint, Candidate for Otero County Sheriff
Speaker Stephanie DuBois, Candidate for Otero County Commissioner, District 2
Now, if we could just get all these good Democrats in Otero County out to vote on November 4, 2014 we surely could make a difference in our fabulous State of New Mexico.

Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr for his great photography.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this event the success it was.

This is all I have to say for now.